MERIDEN — A longtime local United States Postal Service clerk will retire at the end of the month.
Gene Kirsten, 70, of New Haven, will celebrate 36 years at the Meriden post office on June 27 and plans to retire on June 30.
Kirsten worked as a camp counselor, at a community center, and in the mental health field before joining the Postal Service in 1981.
“I’ve been very fortunate, working as many years in one job, compared to how the workplace is today, where people are having to think about moving every few years,” he said.
“If you asked me 36 years ago if I would be here today, I probably would have laughed and said ‘no way,’ ” he added.
Though he worked several different assignments throughout his career, including a brief stint as acting postmaster in East Haddam, Kirsten was always based in Meriden.
“I will miss people, both people that I work with, as well as the customers,” he said. “After 30-odd years, you get to know people, they get to know you.”
As one of about 10 clerks in Meriden, his daily responsibilities included selling stamps, helping customers apply for passports and offering consultation for different mail services.
After retiring, Kirsten plans to take a vacation and hopes to stay busy.
Meriden postmaster John Colwell said Kirsten was an asset to the postal service
“He does his job very thoroughly,” Colwell said. “There’s so many regulations .. .you turn around and do everything you’re supposed to, but at the same time keep a good attitude like he does, is just unbelievable.”